What is Sex Therapy?

"I have been a counselor myself, have seen a handful of therapists over the last twenty plus years for various issues and am a firm believer that there are times when an objective viewpoint is essential to one’s growth and well-being.  Sharing deeply private and intimate experiences with another, however, can be unsettling and should be entrusted only to someone worthy.  Jassy Timberlake merits that honor.  It is rare…extremely rare…to come across a therapist as exceptional as she.  Jassy is truly a gem." (R.P. Melrose, MA)

Like most other forms of psychotherapy, sex therapy is exclusively talk therapy, which involves meeting with a therapist on a regular basis to talk about how to overcome whatever problem a person has identified. In exchange, the sex therapist shares his or her knowledge of human sexuality and expertise in working with sexual functioning and relationship challenges. Sex therapists are trained to diagnose the psychological origins of sexual issues and work to find solutions. This will often mean collaborative relationships with physicians whose specialty is sexual medicine.  (Despite common misconceptions, sex therapy does NOT involve sexual or physical contact between therapist and client.)  As with any form of therapeutic relationship, an ability to feel comfortable with a therapist is very important.   Many people find it embarrassing to talk about sex, thus it's even more important that you find a therapist who puts you at ease and with whom you can begin to talk freely.

Our clinical approach is grounded in research and evidence, rather than smoke and  mirrors and vague, general promises. We offer approaches and solutions that we know from research and clinical experience actually work, instead of spreading more misinformation and confusion.

Why do people seek sex therapy?

Over the course of a person's lifetime stress, trauma, illness, the side effects of medications, depression and lack of self-esteem can often negatively impact a person’s sexual functioning and desire. It is not uncommon for couples and individuals to experience sex-related challenges at some point in their lives. Everybody deserves to experience satisfying, exciting, loving and fulfilling sexual relationships and sexual contact and sex therapy can often help.

Most clients come to us with trauma, shame and guilt about the ways in which they are sexual and embodied. NSTA understand the ways in which trauma – and the resulting fear and anxiety ­ impacts sexual functioning and inhibits healthy sexual behavior. We help clients overcome this using trauma-­informed clinical practices.

“Anxiety and shame are at the root of most sexual dysfunctions. We can help.”

Anxiety and shame are at the root of most sexual dysfunctions. These are typically emotions and feelings that trap human beings in rigid and fearful ways of expressing, or not expressing, themselves and have a powerful impact particularly on how we manifest ourselves in sexual ways, sometimes to the point of retreating and hiding our bodies and sexuality, and occasionally to places of sexual compulsivity and “over expression.”

Regardless of the ways that clients experience this, we are in a unique position to help them navigate the often complex pathway towards feeling at home in their body and in their sexuality.

What kinds of problems do people want help with?

Some of the issues that sex therapy can help with are as follows:

  • Difficulties either getting and/or keeping an erection

  • Difficulties maintaining control of ejaculation or trouble with “timing”

  • Inability to orgasm either alone or with a partner

  • Finding the ability to relax and enjoy sexual activity a challenge

  • Lack or loss of sexual desire

  • Feelings of embarrassment or shame about your body and sexual functioning

  • Painful intercourse (known as Dyspareunia)

  • Involuntary spasming of the vagina (known as Vaginismus)

  • History of sexual abuse, rape or threatened sexual trauma

  • Intimacy and relationship problems that are affecting your sexual relationship

  • When feeling bad about your body is negatively affecting your sexual life

  • When you've been faking orgasms because you're too ashamed to talk about your difficulty climaxing

  • When you find yourself passing on having sex with your partner because it's difficult to get and/or maintain erections

  • You're so worried about "performing" that you avoid sexual intimacy

  • Since having a baby, you're less interested in sex

  • You want sex frequently and your partner isn't interested

  • You don't want to have sex and you feel like your partner is constantly bugging you about it

  • You feel like you spend too much time thinking or fantasizing about sex

  • Having sex is painful and you feel hopeless about ever freely enjoying it

  • You have questions about your sexuality and don't know who to ask

  • Your partner wants an "open" relationship and you're unsure if you can handle it or even want to try

"Just want to thank you so much for your support, encouragement, openmindedness, positivity and many other traits. It has been a wonderful growth process, and I couldn't have imagined a better form of therapy or therapist for that matter. I just want you to know how much we value and admire your abilities. You, and the sessions, have challenged us in ways we couldn't have imagined, and we are so much better for it. Thanks for exceeding expectations. No wonder you have the reputation you do.(P & N,  Florence, MA)"

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